This study explores travel blogs as a manifestation of travel experience. Visitor opinions posted on leading travel blog sites were analyzed to gain an understanding of the destination experience being manifested. Travel blogs on Charleston, South Carolina, were collected through the three most popular travel blog sites and three blog search engines. Blogs were analyzed using semantic network analysis and content analysis methods to ascertain what bloggers were communicating about their travel experiences. Results revealed that major strengths of the destination were its attractions: historic charm, Southern hospitality, beaches, and water activities. Major weaknesses included weather, infrastructure, and fast-service restaurants. Qualitative results demonstrated that travel blogs are an inexpensive means to gather rich, authentic, and unsolicited customer feedback. Information technology advances and increasingly large numbers of travel blogs facilitate travel blog monitoring as a cost-effective method for destination marketers to assess their service quality and improve travelers' overall experiences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management